A woman from Pakistan won an international Masterchef competition
Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, a Pakistani chef won title of BBC’s MasterChef 2017. She is the first Pakistani woman to win MasterChef UK title.
Apart from a good chef, Saliha is a passionate Doctor specializing in gastroenterology. Taking part in the competition was not an easy task for Saliha as along with competition she had to handle her on-call shifts in hospital. She struggled and carried her cooking and medical career side by side.
According to Saliha:” It involved a lot of hard work and early starts – late nights cooking after 13-hour long shifts, no holidays, no breaks, no sleep – but it was well worth it.”
Saliha wishes to write cook books in future.
Along with Saliha, 64 amateur home cooks participated in the contest and Saliha defeated them. During competition, she combined the Pakistani and South Asian flavors and introduced Western flavors.
During the early few days, Saliha impressed the judges with sous-vide duck breast and Saffron rosewater and cardamom panna cotta of Kahmiri style and served it with deconstructed baklava.
In the final, Saliha served judges with shami kabab, along with cashew and coriander green chutney, chana dal and salad of kachumbar.
John Torode, fellow competitor of saliha confessed about her that: “She’s walked in here and taken her food culture apart and put itback together in a modern and very exciting way”.
Saliha was inspired from her school teacher and from her family.
Saliha added, “I’m from a big Pakistani family and we use food as a way of bringing everyone together,” she said. “I had very passionate grandmothers who cooked traditional Pakistani food and my mum is also an excellent cook. We love to feed people – it runs in our genes.”